Legal Considerations

Living Will:
  • Legal document that permits you to express your wishes in regards to future medical treatments
  • Used if you are unable to communicate these wishes
  • Includes the types of treatments and extent of life-sustaining measure you would like (i.e. CPR or life support machines)
Power of Attorney:
  • Permits patient to give access to medical records to family member or friend
  • POA can sign legal documents on behalf of patient or read medical records in absence of patient
  • POA ends upon patient's loss of mental capacity
Durable Power of Attorney:
  • Similar to POA
  • Continues event when patient is incapacitated


Medical Power of Attorney (Durable power of attorney for health care):
  • Makes medical decisions when the patient cannot
  • Cannot make decisions that violate wishes outlined in a living will
  • Cannot make financial decisions unless specifically named as durable power of attorney for finances